Missing the point

Institute of Mental Health 5, Nov 06

Institute of Mental Health 5, Nov 06 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the shooting in Washington, the Pentagon will review procedures that allowed the shooter into the Navy Yard, while Congress will focus on mental health issues. Mental health issues are the more important issue. Focusing on the shooter’s security clearance, while important, is not the central issue. Lacking a security clearance, Alexis would have chosen his victims outside the Naval facility, rather than inside. Same results, different victims.

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Afghanistan revisited

Korean War Memorial

Korean War Memorial (Photo credit: Cocoabiscuit)

The US is training Afghan security forces so that our fighting men and women can be brought home. The Afghans are slated to be responsible for the security of their country. There are at least two problems.

The Afghan security force is larger than the country can afford to maintain.

Members of the Afghan security force are regularly, once or twice a week, killing or wounding their US or allied forces trainers. They are saying that they don’t want us in their country and our withdrawal can’t come soon enough.

Thinking back over recent US history, I can’t think of a single significant war that the US has won since WW2. The Korean war was a stalemate; Vietnam was a loss. Iraq was either a stalemate or a loss depending on how the future turns out. I expect to put Afghanistan in the loss column, stalemate would be an unexpected victory. Grenada and Panama don’t count because our opponents were way overmatched. There is something very wrong here with our leadership, both within the Pentagon and without, if we continue to wage war and haven’t won since 1945, 67 years ago.

On the plus side, we did win the Cold War, but it was waged without firing a shot. We are losing/have lost the war on drugs and the war on poverty. It’s too early to tell if we will win the Global War on Terror.

Did you know?

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Air...

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Washington, DC‘s original airport was named Hoover Field and operated from 1925 to June, 1941. It was replaced by Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The Pentagon is sited where Hoover Field once was.

 

Defense

The Pentagon, looking northeast with the Potom...

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Since the end of World War 2, the US has been the main defender of the free world. We have reached the point in time when the US and more specifically US taxpayers can no longer afford to carry that burden. This is what I propose.

Before the Second World War, the US defended the Western Hemisphere from foreign intervention under the Monroe Doctrine. I propose that we return to that position and require that others defend the rest of the world. We could do that by starting one or more government-sponsored enterprises, similar in nature to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It or they would be private companies expected to earn a profit and selling shares to the public. One could be named US Defense Co., and listed on the NY Stock Exchange as DEFCO. If private enterprise is more efficient than government, here is a chance to prove it once and for all.

Once the private companies are up and running, we can begin withdrawing our troops from South Korea and Europe. The Koreans and the Europeans will have the option of re-arming or hiring a private contractor such as Xe Services (formerly Blackwater) or one of the new contractors such as DEFCO.

Private contractors claim to be able to lower costs by being more efficient than government. I believe that they lower costs by paying their employees less. Let us see a demonstration on a large scale. The contractors will want to hire some US citizens for some of the highly technical positions until they can train replacements. Much of the lower ranks can be filled from nations with a martial tradition: Sikhs from India, Gurkhas from Nepal, Eritreans from Africa and Pathans from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Let us provide the troops and equipment for homeland security and defense of the Western Hemisphere. The rest of the world can protect themselves or hire and pay for private defense providers to do it for them.